Despite the title of « mother of believers, » some Prophet’s wives lived childless.
This expression « mother of believers » comes from the Qur’an (Sura 33 verse: 6). This name makes the wives of the Prophet Muhammad illegitimate as a wife after his death. The term « mother » becomes symbolic.
The prophet’s wives have the status of maternal figures, even if among them some have never given birth. This is sobering: the title of « mother » can be given without childbirth.
Childless among mothers of believers
Aisha, daughter of Abu bakr (614-678) represents the most often cited example of a childless woman. Promised to marry the Prophet Muhammad at a very young age, she became a widow at the age of eighteen.
Hafsa (v605 – v665) the daughter of Omar, a faithful companion of the Messenger and second caliph after Abu Bakr, married the Prophet in second marriage. Hafsa did not give birth to a child during her first marriage. Yet, the Prophet took her as his spouse.
Zaynab bint Kuzayma (595 – 626) nicknamed the « mother of the poor » is said to have married the Prophet at the age of thirty, widow. She had no children from her first wedding. She died after eight months of union with the Messenger.
Zaynab bint Jash (592 – 641) thirty-five years old and childless when she married the the Prophet. She remains married six years.
The Messenger was aware of the widowed, divorced and childless status of these women. Despite this, a hadith is attributed to him which enjoins men to wed only with fertile women. According to preachers and theologians, the proof of fertility of a future bride could be verified by her procreation during a previous marriage or the birth of women in her family.
Khadija was very old for her time, widowed and childless when she married the Prophet Muhammad. According to some theologians and preachers, Khadija was in no way the ideal candidate for marriage.
One wonders if our scholars would insinuate that the Prophet would have been a follower of do what I say, not what I do!
Woman without children , nothing abnormal
Although some marriages were concluded for political reasons, the Prophet chose to unite with childless women; this condition caused no obstacles.
Respect for these « mothers of believers » is in no way associated with their status as biological mothers. No revelation diminishes the position of these childless women.
Many survived the Messenger for years, without children. If this had been an anomaly, it can be assumed that the Highest would have granted them all children before or during the marriage to the Prophet Muhammad.
Original Text Des épouses du Prophète : femmes sans enfant par circonstances
Translation by Discussions Essentielles and Deep L
©Photo credit Pexels – Lukas